Funding for U.S. smart grid projects and smart grid clearinghouse project awarded


Steven Chu, U.S.
Energy Secretary
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 21, 2009 – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced more than $57 million in stimulus funding for smart grid projects as well as the start of the development of a smart grid information clearinghouse.

Of this funding more than $47 million has been allocated to eight projects to further smart grid demonstration projects in seven states, while $10.5 million is available for local governments to develop emergency preparedness plans for their electrical systems.

The lead organizations and eight project awards are:

  • American Superconductor Corporation for the development and in-grid demonstration of a transmission voltage SuperLimiterTM fault current limiter ($4.83 million)
  • American Superconductor Corporation for a high temperature superconductor transmission cable system for installation in the Long Island Power Grid ($7.58 million)
  • City of Fort Collins for research development and demonstration of peak load reduction on distribution feeders using distributed energy resources for the city ($4.84 million)
  • Consolidated Edison Company of New York for an interoperability of demand response resources demonstration in New York ($5.63 million)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) for a “perfect power” prototype at IIT’s main campus ($5.41 million)
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa-Hawaii Natural Energy Institute for a dispatchable distribution feeder for peak load reduction and wind farming ($5.55 million)
  • University of Nevada–Las Vegas for dramatic residential demand reduction in the Desert Southwest ($5.72 million)
  • Zenergy Power Inc. for the design, test and demonstration of saturable reactor high temperature superconducting fault current limiters ($8.08 million).

This investment will add to the $17 million in funds that these projects had been awarded in 2008 following a competitive award process. By accelerating the completion timelines for each of the projects, the Recovery Act funds will help modernize the electric grid, allowing for greater integration of renewable energy sources while increasing the reliability, efficiency and security of the nation’s electricity transmission and distribution system, states a Department of Energy statement.

The $10.5 million to increase the nation’s energy security is available for local governments to apply for competitive energy assurance grants ranging between $60,000 and $300,000.  The funding will help cities and counties create jobs, while developing strong emergency response plans that they can rely on during energy emergencies and supply disruptions. This funding adds to nearly $40 million previously announced for state-level energy assurance planning.

“Modernizing our electrical grid to make it stronger, smarter, more efficient and more secure is a crucial step in expanding renewable energy and creating jobs,” said Secretary Chu. “These investments will help lay the foundation for American leadership in the clean energy economy.”

Secretary Chu also announced that the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) has been selected as the winner of the $1.3 million Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse initiative. Virginia Tech will develop and maintain the Clearinghouse website, which will be charged with answering questions from the public and distributing information about smart grid initiatives happening nationwide.